Ants, my engineer, and a humble toothpick comes into its own ;)

Hi there, everyone.We have now been back home for five days, and I’m almost back to normal. Some of you may remember that I was stressing that the ant armies might have taken over our house in the six months that we were away. I’m happy to report that they weren’t very evident when I sent hubby in first to check.  On the day we left in September, and just as it was time to get in the car to drive to the airport, I suddenly remembered the anti-ant spray which I’d bought, so hubby rushed back inside to spray all around the windows and doors and edges of the kitchen floor. (Now my blog friend, Kragenhai is sure to accuse me once more of being a slave driver, because I didn’t do the deed myself.)  Anyway, when we got back, there were very few live ants, and only tiny ones at that, but there were little piles of dead ones. They had been very  considerate, and had gone into one corner of the dining room and kitchen, to form two neat little heaps,  which were easily vacuumed up. If there are any ant huggers reading my blog, I do apologise if I have offended your sensibilities.  Embarassed Such darling little critters , aren’t they?

Our 28-year-old air conditioner which wasn’t working on our arrival home, and which hubby fixed for about R120, is now running perfectly. One neighbour informed us that even after replacing theirs a few years ago they are still spending thousands on it as they have to keep calling in the repair men. Thanks goodness for a handy husband. He’s saved us a fortune over the years. My son used to call him “daddy-fix-it,” because there was nothing he couldn’t get working again.

I told you that we were going to buy a new dishwasher over the weekend, as ours had finally decided to die on us.. It still looks like new, but over the past year, it’s been getting the hiccups, and we had to keep on restarting it to get it to go. Well, on Thursday evening, hubby said, “Let me have one last try to see if I can fix it.”  He had the front off again, and a short while later, he muttered something about a relay and asked if I had a matchstick. “No, but we have plenty of toothpicks,” I replied.



“That will do,” he said. So out came the toothpicks and a couple of minutes later, he’d jammed a relay on the printed circuit board and now it’s working as good as new again. It’s great to be married to an engineer. They’re real problem solvers, and he has the patience of Job. He needs it, being married to me, because I’m technologically and mechanically challenged. It was a marriage made in Heaven. I do the cooking and ironing etc., and he just keeps everything running smoothly. A couple of years ago he fixed my sister’s AEG dishwasher for R5 , the cost of  a component, after she had been quoted over R2,000 by the repair company.

It’s cooled down nicely here, after an apparently hot and humid summer. We’re now into that wonderfully mild and temperate KZN autumn weather, which I enjoy immensely. We shall take a stroll up to the village this morning, and have a look at the holiday makers down here for the Easter break.

Have a great day, everyone. Chat again soon.



Of alligators, ants, and generalisations.

Hi again. This evening, we went to the club lounge and I played a few tunes on the piano, much to everyone’s obvious delight. Our friend’s husband has promised to bring his saxophone over to our house one day, so that we can do some duets, which could be very interesting. I’ve played with a trumpeter and even a bagpiper before, but not a saxophonist. Maybe we can do a bit of jazz. Cool

His wife writes for the club magazine, and has asked me to do an article on the capturing of Mr Smiley the alligator last November. I’m sure some of you remember the story, but in case you missed it, we had a resident alligator in our lake, which used to sun itself on the bank opposite, and probably eat most of the fish population too. This is why the water birds became so scarce at one point. I guess he used to eat them too if they came too close.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, one of our neighbours reported seeing him, to the authorities and last November whilst our son was visiting us with the family, the trapper came to take Smiley away. He was rather large for one man to handle, and fortunately our son arrived back at the house just in time to give him a hand with pulling him out of the water, taping up his mouth and loading him into the truck.

All this was watched by our two small granddaughters who weren’t at all phased by it. Hubby and I missed the whole episode, much to our disappointment, but at least we saw the pics. So it looks as though I’ll be able to add another claim to fame here by getting an article published in the magazine.

Since my episode with Vinnie last Sunday evening, I’ve had so many more smiles and waves from people here, as well as comments about my performance. The Americans are very generous with their praise. In fact I would go so far as to say that they are the friendliest people I’ve ever met on my travels around the world. I can’t understand why some people denigrate them as a nation. I saw on someone’s blog the other day, comments generalising about and making fun of Americans, and of course everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Unless you’ve lived amongst them and experienced first hand what they’re all about, you can’t make assumptions. Just as one wouldn’t like someone to say that all South Africans are violent, or all Scotsmen are mean, or all Irishmen are stupid. One thing I can say though, is that the people who work in the shops and restaurants here are so friendly and helpful, that they put our lot to shame. People really take a pride in their jobs, and seem to genuinely enjoy serving the public and with a smile too. I shall be looking for the same kind of service and smiles in Pick’n Pay and Woolies when I get home later this month. Undecided

Well, I can’t believe that it’s the end of the week once again and in just over three weeks we’ll be on our way back home. I’m a bit worried about returning to our house. I saw that 68ghia was saying that the ants are particularly plentiful this summer, and she even has to strain the water out of her kettle. I was chatting to my mom on Skype today and she also complained of dozens of the nasty little critters in her kitchen every day. I now have visions of my house having been taken over by armies of ants over the six months that we’ve been away. I certainly hope not.

On that happy note, I’m off to bed. Hope you all slept well. Enjoy your weekend. Chat again soon.